Bedbugs are back . . . in swarming numbers
Monday June 18 2007, The Irish Independent
INFESTATIONS of bedbugs are on the rise throughout Ireland due to the rapid growth in foreign travel and rising temperatures.
As the unwelcome guests return in droves, pest-controllers are called to hotels, family homes, guesthouses, B&Bs and, on occasion, hospitals.
In the warmer weather between February and October, bedbug call-outs are as high as those for rats and mice. “We are getting thousands of bedbug call-outs a year. There has been a phenomenal increase over the past decade,” Michael O’Mahoney of pest-control company Rentokil said.
One of the main reasons behind the bedbug explosion in Western Europe and the US over the past few years is increased travel in and out, according to the exterminators.
In Ireland, people have been visiting pharmacies and doctors seeking help for rashes and skin irritation caused by the bugs.
“When people go to the doctor first they sometimes think they have scabies,” Mr O’Mahoney said.
Bedbugs, which feed on human blood during the night, can lay up to 500 eggs over in two months.
The flat insects are dark reddish-brown. Adults stretch to around 6mm in length. They can be found lurking on bedsheets, in mattresses, behind peeling wallpaper, between floorboards, in plugs, light switches, behind mattress buttons or headboards, in bedside lockers and in radios.
Mr O’Mahoney said the bugs infested not just shoddy flats but also the “poshest hotels” as they “don’t heed boundaries”.